Timing is everything, and it’s been on senior Jaylin Cannon’s side.
Last year, Cannon transferred from Cypress High to Wilson just in time to help the Bruins reach their first CIF Southern Section semifinal in eight years, and this season he’s changed positions to hopefully spark a second-half surge.
“Sometimes when you bring in a guy from another school you’re not sure what you’re going to get,” Wilson coach Andy Hall said. “It’s been nothing but good stuff from Jaylin. He’s such an easy going, fun-loving kid. Everyday he comes through the gate he’s got a smile and a ‘hey coach, it’s a great day to be a Bruin, lets go play’. Jaylin is such a joy to have around.”
Cannon has always been a diminutive middle infielder. The 5’5” 160-pound speedster started playing organized baseball in preschool, and played on his first travel ball team when he was 6 years old.
“Baseball was the only thing I had fun doing, and I was good right away,” Cannon said. “I’m just a funny, laid-back guy who’s not a super serious dude, unless I’m on the field.”
Cannon has played second base and center field this season while contributing at the top of the Wilson lineup. He leads the Bruins with a .333 batting average, a .500 on base percentage, 13 runs scored in 19 games and only three errors in the field. Cannon was the catalyst in the victory over Millikan last week.
Wilson (11-6-2, 5-2) is at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field tonight for a showdown with first-place Long Beach Poly (12-5-1, 7-0) at 6:30 p.m. Millikan (11-6, 5-2) faces Lakewood (11-7, 6-2) at 3:30 p.m. in the first game of of the doubleheader.
We caught up with Cannon after practice yesterday for a quick Q & A:
The562: Why did you move from Cypress to Long Beach?
Cannon: I was born in Long Beach, and grew up in Cypress with my grandparents. My grandma was having health problems so I moved back in with my mom.
The562: I’m sorry to hear that. Was it hard to move to a new school during your junior year?
Cannon: It worked out. I like it a lot here, and as soon as I got to Wilson I was starting.
The562: Yeah, Long Beach is a little different than Cypress.
Cannon: I just like being in the city because when I lived in Cypress I was around a lot of older people. It’s quiet, but in Long Beach everyone is doing something. I love it out here.
The562: What are some of your favorite places in Long Beach?
Cannon: I go to Roscoe’s House Of Chicken And Waffles every other week. Sometimes I run to Cherry Park, and I live by the beach with a lot of my friends so we’re there a lot.
The562: How did you make friends so fast?
Cannon: I honestly don’t know. I came here and was just myself and people seemed to like me, so I guess I got lucky.
The562: Are you glad you’ve played so much travel ball?
Cannon: Without a doubt. It made me see all types of competition, and it was always better than high school. In travel ball, since there’s more scouts there, better players seem to pop out.
The562: What’s the biggest difference between high school baseball and travel ball?
Cannon: We were doing a lot of traveling, playing teams from all over the country. In Texas and Florida, guys just throw a lot harder than out here in California, most of the time.
The562: Wilson was struggling last season until the second half of the season when you entered the lineup. Did that surprise you?
Cannon: I was really surprised that they had it in them because coach Hall was telling me before I got there how the team was struggling and not functioning together as a team.
The562: How did you guys turn it around?
Cannon: We all just pulled together right around playoff time and really clutched up in the situations we needed. They just stared to play better as soon as I got there. It was just great being with them.
The562: So it was you? You were the key to success, right?
Cannon: I just did what I do. Just go out there and give 110 percent… I might have helped the team a little bit, I don’t know. Maybe I just bring some fun-loving nature to the team to get a little bit of pressure off of them.
The562: You moved from second base to center field this season to fill a team need. Has that been hard to play a different position for the first time in your life?
Cannon: Not really. I like it. I’ve gotten used to center field. We’ve been working on it in practice and it’s become a fit for me.
The562: And it seems like a better fit for this squad, right?
Cannon: No doubt. We’re starting to get back and I’m loving it. We were struggling with meshing as a team. When we practice completing things that need to be completed, we perform better as a team.
The562: If you had to be stranded on a deserted island with one of your teammates, who would you choose?
Cannon: Alex (Seguine) because he’s a leader, and he’d probably be the one to hunt down the most food.
The562: What is your favorite movie?
Cannon: Scarface. The Godfather. Those classics, I love them. My favorite actor is Al Pacino.
The562: Why do you like them so much?
Cannon: My dad got me into them, and I can’t stop watching those movies. They’re really entertaining to me. There’s always a plot twist, action, comedy and a little bit of everything.
The562: What is your least favorite food?
Cannon: Broccoli. It’s really gross.
The562: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Cannon: France, for sure. Best food, prettiest girls and nicest scenery.
The562: What would you do with one wish?
Cannon: End world hunger.
The562: Have you ever cried during a movie?
Cannon: Yes, without a doubt. I cried in Godfather II when Michael Corleone’s new wife died. That was really sad.